Bailur,Man and Machine trip-Part 12 (The Ramapuram Tiger)

Bailur,Man and Machine trip- Part 12 (The Ramapuram tiger)


This would be my last post in this series. My journey through KA's places came to an abrupt end, rather in a most uncomfortable way.  All things were in favor of me. I had 2 more weeks to my return flight, I had enough days of self made   loneliness, and I had never ending love to forests and crush to indulge in its greenery... Still it happened, as an inevitable law of Nature.



A tiger cub and a little monkey.
The cause...
I was exposed to full sunlight, wind and dust for last week since start of my journey. The medicinal Water bath(?) and a full body massaging from Hogenakkal, made worse to my body. My body cells exclaimed that what a hell this is...They were not used to this harsh conditions.The organs and systems in my body wished to sit back leisurely in an air conditioned room, far away. But my mind never heard the protests raised by my skin and stomach. So all of them jointly started a violent protest. Yes. I fell ill. Severe fever and Stomach cramp. Both my arms turned red. I forgot thirst and hunger. I was slowly falling into delirium.

Before it happened ,I could visit the holy place of MM Hills, and spend a day there.
My proposed plan to visit some places related to KA.

Towards MM hills
MM Hills View from the road
Malai Mahadeshwara Betta or MM Hills (as it is also known) is located in the Kollegal Taluq of Karnataka. According to tradition there are seven hills identified in the puranas as Anumale, Jenumale, Kanumale, Pachchemale, Pavalamale, Ponnachimalai and Kongumale. All these hills form the M.M.Hills. There are about 77 hills around the Eastern Ghats near MM Hills.


The temple gate

Male Mahadeshwara Betta or MM Hills – Overview

The Mahadeshwara temple located on the Malai Mahadeshwara Hills is very famous. It attracts pilgrims from all over South India. This temple is specially linked with Saint Mahadeshwara who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. There are several legends associated with Saint Mahadeshwara and his deeds are sung as an epic by the local villagers.
The region of MM Hills, apart from being a pilgrimage center, is also a nature reserve. I wanted to see the area in details and the local culture of villagers. It is believed by the local tribals and villagers that Saint Mahadeshwara was an incarnation of Lord Shiva who came down to earth to destroy an evil king, Shravanasura. He is believed to have performed many miracles and he rode on a tiger. His legend is recounted as an epic in seven parts by the locals in the Janapada folk style. The story bears a resemblance to the ancient Indian Epic Ramayana.
Parking area, opposite to the temple.
Malai Mahadeshwara Betta or MM Hills – Mythology
Historically, Saint Mahadeshwara is believed to have lived in the 15th century. It is believed that he came here to perform meditation. People believe he is still continuing his Tapas inside the temple in the form of a Linga.
A Street view from the township with raising modern style in the wilderness..
These are the details I could learn from the town and I there is local tracking organisers in the town. I wish I could make it on

I drove up to Ramapura, in Kollegal taluk, from MM hills. Stayed one day and proceeded to Mysore on very next day.
The view of MM hills from Kollagal road.
My stomach ached first followed by high temperature. It started from MM hills where I skipped mu lunch, but taken some biscuits and fruits instead of proper heavy lunch, on my way to Kollegal. The trip was mind blowingly green and the downhill biking was so thrilling. There was no traffic and I seemed to own the road. Negotiating the low hills of PonachiMalai, and vast forest land, halt at Cowdahalli and turn left to Ramapura. These two towns are mentioned in the story The Ramapuram Tiger.


27 Hairpin bends in that ghat road...
Coming  down the numerous hairpin bends and  crossed the narrow road in Kowdhalli village after which the road again passes through Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary for a couple of kilometres. As one approaches Hanur village the hill ridges that mark the northern limits of Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple (BRT) tiger reserve become prominent.

 Ramapura


Reaching Ramapura  from MM hills. I thought Jayken and his wife  might have used this road.

Ramapura junction
Ramapura
Ramapura police station is famous in other connections of forest brigand Veerappan.
Ramapura police station witnessed a lot of bloodshed in 1992, when it was attacked by Veerappan. The sandalwood smuggler’s attacks had then claimed the lives of six policemen. In the same police station, a shoot of another kind was held a few years ago and I saw the film few months ago. The film Vanayudham, based on the brigand’s life.
The scenes in the movie has been canned in the same spot where the incident happened, and blood stains of the gory incident still remain there, the film crew took pains to shoot in MM Hills.
The filmmaker has shot his latest flick with such attention to detail that it took a dozen years to research and write.
Most locations of the film, including the scene where Veerappan was killed, have been real places associated with the dacoit.

Ramapura, near to High school
Reaching Ramapura, I confess I couldn't make an enough search for the police station and forest station, because of my deteriorating  health condition .My internal batteries are draining, and I decided to stay at Kollegal in this night, to end up an early halt.  Before that, I must to complete that day's work to visit at least Bailur. There is no direct road from Ramapura to Bailur. I must go through a junction named Hanur, where I should take a left turn to which will connect Lakkanahally Bailur Dimbum road. Biking through the dry land, with intermittent rain made no comfort at all. At Hanur, I was so sick and nauseating which made a sudden decision to take rest somewhere and stop today's exploration. There was no good hotel or lodges in that town. I was too hungry to take a normal lunch in a road side local hotel. Yesterday too I took street food from Hogenakkal, in the form of fried fish.  Immediately after the lunch I felt nauseating and feel sleepy. After half an hour's search I ended up in a comfort of a bed and bath room of a filthy lodge.  After a good bath I hit the bed and fell asleep up to 8 pm when hunger stroked me badly.  I knew from medical experience I was either got food poisoning or a sun stroke. To relieve I need lot of  drinking water and a rest .I could not even think of hotel food. So I relied upon some mangoes and bananas. Ii  slept long and long hours till next day at 12 noon, when my energy restored a little. Somehow  I have to complete this article on Ramapuram tiger. But my  cells again sought for a  good rest or treatment which I can get back home. Sadly I made my mind to abort  the trip for next days . Even more sad I could not visit the  Bailur  forest bungalow and that road to Dimbum, and the mesmerizing  village.

Short stay at Hanur.
Reaching Kollegal-
I missed the very chance of  explore  Talaivadi- Segur belt which lies just in front of  me. But I will take this positively. I think its reserved for my next year's adventure and can be done with more planning.  This particular trip made me some kind of refinement.
Ramapura Kollegal Road

Still its an NH,
Within these days my tastes for food almost gone, and I could not think about any Hotel food more. I had depended almost on fruits, but it was not enough, more over, I prefer to make my own food along the trip. I bought two steel tumblers of different sizes,half a dozen candles, noodles, Bru coffee powder,and procured a piece of cardboard. As u see in the pic the cardboard pieces kept in the smaller cup in spirals, and crushed candle pieces filled between the gaps.This self made stove and  method is so simple but effective for coffee , noodles etc. I was happy  to have rest and do something other than riding in the intervals.




Beyond Kollegal  towards Mysore.
My journey continues to Nagarhole National park in next day.
 As there is no personal experience some of the areas,I will use  some pictures and posts from Kenneth Anderson Facebook page along with my photos. Please note that I didn't asked for permissions, but think it wont hurt anybody.Please disregard  the  captions of mine, if it seems inappropriate. Take it lightly and consider as a guide for your explorations.

A walkback to the story “The Ramapuram Tiger”

This story of the man-eating tiger which has very dramatic end and then Anderson reflects sincerely on intuition or a sixth sense.  The story is remarkable also for excellent characterization of a Sholaga named Jeyken who was haunted with the idea of revenge for his wife’s murder.

Anderson came to know about this man-eater through the news paper report. Coincidentally he had planned visit to the Forest Department office at Kollegal for the renewal of his game license. So he went to Kollegal to obtain the required shooting license and also to rid the affected locality of Ramapuram of the man-eater. After giving brief idea of the domain of the Ramapuram tiger, he presents the topography of the Biligiri Rangan hills. The village of Ramapuram is situated about twenty-five miles from Kollegal.

Click the photos for a larger picture.

The region of the incident taken place. Biligirirangan hills, and KAvery can be seen in respect of  Kollegal taluk.North Coimbatore district was  presently covered Nilgiris, and parts of Karur district and Kollegal taluk in Karnataka.
In 1956 the Kollegal taluk till then part of Madras State was transferred to Mysore State. Between 1975 and 1979 some subtaluks were promoted to taluks, including Satyamangalam, Perundurai and Mettupalayam, Coimbatore. In 1979 Erode district was formed  and a further new district Tirupur was bifurcated and formed in 2012.
Kollegal and its four roads described by KA. The third road in blue  runs  Kollegal- Lokkanahalli-Bylur-Odayarpalayam-PG palaya-Germala- Gedesal-Hasannur-Dimbum-Thalaimalai-RajaNagara- to  Sathyamangalam.

The Third Road.
Anderson describes the density of the thick forest in that area and states that tigers normally dislike very dense vegetation. He explains it with proper reasons why tigers dislike very dense forest. The topographical explanation  holds all merits of his writing.He given focus to Kollegal  and centered  to the roads arising from the town, which is a clever  attempt.

The THIRD ROAD is important in our story, BiligiriRangan HIlls and Bailur village  where tiger killed can be seen. From Bylur The BIson vally begins. Remember the the story of Gadesal Gour. KA describes this road  has  lorry traffic at his time.
 Near to Bailur,The Buddhist monastery,Dhondenling can be seen  near Hills. This settlement of Tibetan refugees is apparently spread over 3,000 acres and has a population of over 5,000.
Kollegal-Dimbum road.Correct measurement of 17 miles from Kollegal to Lokkanahalli along this road, as KA mentioned
The distance from Lokkanahalli to  present Bailur(AKA Beilur,Byluru,Bailuru, Bylur,Bailoor) is about 15 miles. KA said it is 13 miles. But another town- Odeyarpalaya situates at correct 13 miles as described by KA. This was the one of the strong indication why i doubted   KA   narrated Odeyarpalaya as Bailur village. The distance to Bailur FB is exactly coincides..
Google map given correct distances  of 48  miles to Hassanpur(Hassanur jn,Hassanuru,Hasanur) and the 5 miles to Dimbum(DHIBHAM) top through Talaimalai forest, exactly as per KA written, Now SH 38. The road goes down to Sathymangalam- NH 209
National Highway-209 is nothing short of a “death trap” for wildlife.Dozens of animals including elephants, gaurs, sloth bears, wildcats and reptiles have been killed by vehicles. Photos:The Hindu, special arrangements.The sparse lorry traffic at Anderson's time may not winessed this..
3D view of the places in the story. At Hassanur the third road  joins to NH 209.

 The Fourth road

This road goes to Andiyur-(Anthiyoor)  through dense jungle. I came  biked opposite  to the direction from MM Hills  which joins the road at Hanur. There is no road be to connect Ramapuram and Bailur directly.


Kollegal- Hannur- Ramapura- Gargekundi- Bargur- Anthiyur road, Which was unfit for motor traffic.Now The road conditions upto Nall road was good and further it was a single lane and in bad condition Garke kundi bridge, which is the inter state border of Karanataka & Tamilnadu.Tamilnadu state roads are very good. Further in Baragur thick green forest in the  ghat section roads. Forest check  On enroute Thottakarai, Varattu Pallam reserviour ; further 27Kms from check post the ghat section road ends.  The traffic on the road from Naal road to Anthiyur is almost nil and  the forest sceneries  and  Hill views are very beautiful.
View of the fourth road as it runs through Ramapura, at a  Point where to take a left turn to  MM hills road.  
description of Topography of  this road do justice with 3D map of the particular area.
A  view from Ghat section
The brilliant description of the road, as it runs down the hills.

  The Ramapuram tiger was reported to have come from the banks of the Cauvery River. He began his career as an ordinary cattle-lifter in the area of coffee-estates and inhabited by Sholagas. He had killed and eaten several cattle and then one planter made a trap for him when the tiger killed a milch-cow and dragged it into a ravine. The planter set a trap for the tiger. The tiger returned to his kill and to his bad luck and the future ill-fortune got his head in the trap and got himself severely wounded. After few days he claimed his first victim, wife of a Sholaga named Jeyken. Then he became habitual man-eater. Thus Anderson narrates tragedy of the Ramapuram tiger to his readers.


Reverse #D view  as it viewed from top of Ponaachimalai and Kavery banks, where KA said the man eater came from. Ramapuram,and Bailur can be seen.The said coffee estates might have situated at  low hills of Ponnachi as shown.



Ramapura

Ramapura was a sleepy town, where  The man eater first  stricken, Jayken's wife  in their journey.In a wild guess, I think they belongs village Martalli, which is near to Ramapura
Although I am not sure, as per the available information, I imagine this area is coincides with  the plot. A river bank, a path to some villages around Ramapura.
A close up view from satellite to the area,which is similar to the descriptions.
Anderson started his expedition from Forest Lodge at Ramapuram and began his walk to Bailur. He won the confidence of the inhabitants of that area. He gives information of the tribal men known as Sholagas. He appreciates them as they are born jungle folk. While giving account of his journey from Ramapuram to Bailur, Anderson describes beauty of Nature. He is greatly attracted by the beautiful dense valley and the myriad tree-tops. He purchased three young bulls for bait and employed three persons to look after them.
The route of trek  of Anderson from Ramapura to Bailur. There is no motorable road even now directly to Bailur.

The path leads   in a south westerly direction, and villages Dinnahally, Modahally and Arbigere 85 must be travelled by Anderson to reach Woderyarpalayam and Bailur.

View   towards Modahally and BR hills  from the path
As per KA,The path has sparse cultivated lands 
And scrub jungle which skirts the boundaries of low hills up to the reserve forest proper
A reverse view of the same area  with Ramapura and Bailur, because of these two hills there was  no proper way to Bailur.
Jeyken, the husband of the girl who had been the man-eater’s first victim came to Bailur to offer his help. They started looking for the pug-marks of the man-eater. One early morning he saw the tiger’s pug marks near the dead bull. He found that the killer of that bait was a tigress and not a tiger. Here, Anderson has discussed the problem of identification of the man-eater. 

I strongly suspect  Wodeyarpalaya(Vodeyarpalaya.Odeyarpalli,Vadayarpalaya) was wrongly termed as Bailur village  by KA, As per his own words,The forest bunglow was some 3.5 miles farther along  the motor road in the direction of Dimbum , from the Village.  But proper Bailur village is situated within half mile offset to the motor road. At that time of some twenty huts,Now Woderyarpalaya is a small town, and Bailur is in same condition  as a village.
3D reverse  view of BR hills  with respect to Bailur FB.
Towering ranges of BR hills.Biligiri in Kannada means white hill. The name is derived from the mist that covers these hills
Positins of the baits.The first Bull eas tied in a streambed  that travesed the valley  between FB and BR hills, as marked in blue. Second bull  was tied in a glade-a grassy space in a forest- just 100 yard from the road.
3rd bulls position is also tracable as it near to Oddam betta Halla Stream passes  near the Departmental plantation.But iam not sure its correctly marked in this image...


Meeting the Family in  the hills

When he followed the drag marks of the tigress,he came to the spot where he saw two tiger cubs. He records their reaction and narrates how the tigress dashed out of the cavern. His account of this encounter with the tigress reveals his ability to read psychology of the tigress.
KA might have experienced this moment. Photo courtesy: Leen  Syam
At the same time Anderson exposes his own state of mind. He expresses his satisfaction for he had not been forced to shoot the tigress. Then he started his return journey to Bailur village. He reached near the small wild-fig tree beneath which his bait was tied. As he started inspecting the bull, suddenly the man-eater charged! It was quite unexpected and surprise attack of the man-eater. 

Anderson explains his own fearful condition and gives vivid account of his combat with the ferocious tiger. He fired two bullets. His second shot killed the bull and the bull collapsed but the tiger rolled off the bull and bounced on him as he fired his third bullet in the tiger’s throat. Anderson makes this dramatic climax of the story very much alive for the readers. He also expresses his regret for shooting the bull during the encounter.
A depicted  image of bull with tiger ,   courtesy : http://tigersnoop.blogspot.com/
Anderson describes the events that followed the victory. Jeyken behaved strangely, he started stabbing the dead tiger, thinking of his dead wife. The villagers expressed their gratitude to Anderson. Then Jeyken told Anderson that he had seen the man-eater day before in the vicinity. Perhaps he was approaching along the road to kill Anderson.

This discovery makes him to reflect on providence, a guiding-spirit, intuition, or a sixth sense! Thus Anderson passes philosophical comment at the end of the story.


Related thoughts


I am not sure the exact place of the tiger killing occurred, and   very sad that I was  not able to   visit Bailur   which is very nearby  of my last stay. But Surfing the net , I got some information about the spot. This was posted in 2013 by AnandaTeertha Pyati, in Facebook.(Click the link to his page)  Please see the photos of that revisit.


The position of 3rd Buffalo  can be traced fairly easy, because it situated 3  miles before Forest Bungalow and  where  a stream crosses the road, and also lying adjacent to a forest nursery. The Google map has  two strong  points  to offer. To confirm this a personal visit is must. I  would like to plan it in my next  trip, Till then, I am  posting  this questions  to readers. Anybody travelling Kollegal to Dimbum Sathyamangalam a can  give some info in this matter. I am posting this in the FB page , hoping somebody will help.
 I will repost the details when I gathered the new photos.
THE 3rd bulls positions calculated by guess and evidence, and arrived at these spots, marked in circles.

The same  road near Arbegere 85 village
Forest Bunglow, Bailuru @ Kollegal taluk. Refer: The Ramapuram Tiger


Photo posted in 2013 by AnandaTeertha Pyati,"Today revisited (after a year) Bailuru, the place in KA stayed and hunted 'The Ramapuram Tiger' and enjoyed the moments. Forest Bungalow and a board of the time of construction are seen here".

.

Photo courtesy AnandaTeertha Pyati posted in 2013

Looks like this Forest Bungalow undergone a renovation recently. Please post few pictures of the surroundings if available.  "We (KA fans), Infront of forest bunglow, Bailur (Kollegal taluk)
* KA stayed in this bunglow during hunting of The Ramapuram Tiger." Photo courtesy AnandaTeertha Pyati posted in 2013

I have some doubts still to clear: 1. KA mentioned he tied his second buffalo in a forest glade about 100 yards from the road between Bailur village and Bailur forest bungalow. So it must be in Right hand side of the road if you moving to Dimbum side. In photos I could not see the road, but a cultivated area , bordered with forest line with the tree.
2. The Bailur village is mentioned is not clear . According to his accurate distance measurements and available maps I assume the town Vodeyarpalaya is termed as Bailur in his story. May be the name Bailur holds a is a wider area .
Photo courtesy AnandaTeertha Pyati posted in 2013
Red circle denotes Forest FB and blue  is the point of tiger kill


Photo courtesy AnandaTeertha Pyati posted in 2013

Photo courtesy AnandaTeertha Pyati posted in 2013
 A possible scene from the story. Image courtesy Sergio Budicin,


Regards AnandaTeertha PyatiFROM HIS POST

"You might have heard / read "THE RAMAPURAM TIGER" by KA. He did search for this Man-Eater and at last he killed it near Bailur of Kollegal taluq.
Recently we visited this place and wondered wherever KA went around Bailur. Really it was an exciting experience..!
I did shoot some places and uploading video clips (of course with photos) one by one with some brief information. I must say many thanks to Joshua Mathew who helped me a lot in editing and putting subtitles. Making my dream of small edited video clip task is fulfilled because of his only! Thanks Joshua!!
Please wait few minutes for first clip.


He  uploaded a video clip and a brief summery is here:
KA came to Bailur (Kollegal Taluk, Karnataka) to hunt Ramapuram Tiger. He stayed in Forest Bungalow here. Behind this F.B., there is a small stream. Their lies a Huli Goodu, where bait tied to attract tiger/ panther. KA bought three bulls and one of those tied here. Next morning, he came here and checked. The bull was untouched by Man Eater.
Villagers still remember that, tens of tigers and panthers were killed in this place by many hunters. This was an ideal place for hunting.
See and feel the experience!!


Kepi jikrsnaprasad and  Pyati Anandateertha had given some excellent narration of his trip.
Kenneth Anderson, describing the road for about seven or eight decades ago, the street adjacent to the forest nursery, bamboo bush, ditches, Lantana bushes, There were tall trees ... everything. There are   guards houses are still in the nursery. Water from the the brook  filled in the pits.
 Kenneth Anderson, who hunt for man eater  often learned  the availability of information  what became of them   to explore.
They drove as far as the plains on the ground and there are trees in the dark. About ten-minute walk away from the road , many shocked to find the forest. Then their guide confused whether to forward
They went go for the construction that dated the 1930, where man-eaters hunted intensely. read it, if they  look at those places in 2012, slightly more than the environment described in the book as well.
They searched our 'Kenneth Anderson and track prey, and so began. Curiosity for the next two days, enjoys, excited, and disappointed, Emotion. . . .
The team   searched the area s of tiger hunting mentioned in the story especially the  HULIGOOD -  (tigress's den)  at 21 milestone Between the rocky hills  where KA  accidentally come across two baby tigers.. KA in a  return to the road after a furlong to go back to the left side of the road. It is slightly elevated area. The second Buffalo tied in that elevated area. 
The villages were seem to remember some of the incidents and responded to their question
80 years ago someone came to look at the areas hit by the British hunter tiger?
Kenneth come back to stay at the Forest Bungalow hunting lodge which had been at Bailur.  'Odeyarapalya is very near and they enquired well in some places as news reporters and surprised to hear the name of KA from the locals.


They reached at Bailoor Forest lodge at night. There is no power as well as Kenneth had. So, another co-incidence. He walked 19 miles to the 21st milestone when the darkness is not going to.
Kenneth mentioned the village as Bailur instead of Odeyarapalya, Bailur Maybe  just a few houses in the village were then developed   on the side of the Tibetan settlement.

Thanks for the team to offer the details. I conclude this page without a proper ending, as it seems I need more personal experience in this area. Hope it will be possible  in next trip.